Net zero energy (NZE) homes produce as much renewable energy as they consume, allowing for a carbon-free, net-zero energy cost. Traditional buildings consume carbon-based energy, contributing to greenhouse gases. Net-zero energy homes are therefore an environmental alternative. But this is not the only advantage: they are also a sustainable solution for low to moderate income buyers.
NZE homes rely heavily on design, research and computer modeling to achieve energy efficiency. They are insulated, air-tight, using spray-foam, high-efficiency solar panels, heat pumps, low-E triple-glazed windows and very efficient HVAC as well as lighting technologies. Once minimization of energy expenditure has been achieved, the energy needed may be generated via solar panels, wind, and other clean technologies.
The 2018 Getting to Zero National Forum anticipated that low-income populations will stand to benefit massively from NZE homes. Below, long-time community and real estate planning expert, Denise Hamet, shares the four main ways in which NZE homes can be a solution for low to moderate income buyers
In sum, one might imagine net-zero energy (NZE) homes as something for people with high purchasing power. However, NZE is not merely for wealthy people. These homes can be an environmentally-sustainable solution for low to moderate income buyers too. California wants all new residences to be NZE by the year 2020. South Miami passed a similar measure. The future seems ripe with opportunity for this clean technology, with an aspiration to reach a wide array of customers.
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